I’ve had the massive privilage of working with some amazing musicians here in Sheffield. Here’s a not entirely difinitive list of them.
Already championed at XFM and 6Music with thanks to a solitary track, ‘Olive Green’, on Communion’s recent New Faces compilation, Northwich’s Joe Banfi has that stark individualism that Communion discovered with the debut releases by both Michael Kiwanuka and Ben Howard too. I had the pleasure of tracking and mixing a couple of songs with Joe early in 2012.
Combining 8 horns with 2 percussionists, scratch DJ and live MC, the Renegade Brass Band mix jazz, funk and hip-hop with a raw brass sound and high-energy live show. I mixed their Radio Rebelde EP back in 2011. This also included tracking Trumpets, Vox and Turntables.
Influences are vast and varied when it comes to The Purgatory Players’ approach, while the comparisons that have been made to Scott Walker, Jacques Brel and Nick Cave all hold a certain validity, there is also a deeper and more experimental edge that instils a passion in the band. I produced and mixed their Gardens EP in 2009, glorious single White Mirrors in 2010, and have mixed their debut album in 2012 (which has also included tracking some guitar and choral parts).
Jim Ghedi is an acoustic guitarist and songwriter whose unconventional finger-picking style connects the roots of Folk, Blues, Free Jazz and Eastern world music together. Innovating a rare style of playing through his finger work, following sound more than structured means, improvising, varying the time signatures to fit the natural rhythm and flow of the music. Neal Heppleston is a double bass player and composer who has been involved in various bands in Sheffield for many years. I produced and mixed their debut EP, Archipelago in 2012
Captives On The Carousel are Sarah Morrey and Ben Eckersley. They play folk originals on cello and guitar, telling stories of enchantment and dark goings on…Sarah’s poetic lyrics combined with Ben’s haunting strings draw you into a world of mystery and magic. I have produced and mixed both of their EPs: Captives On The Carousel in 2011, The Garden in 2012. I also produced a christmas single for them in 2011 which has an absolutely breath-taking arrangement of the seasonal classic, In The bleak Midwinter.
Robert George Saull grew up in the Shropshire countryside, but has been writing and performing his own songs in Sheffield for the best part of the last 8 years. While serving as vocalist and principle songwriter for The Purgatory Players, he has gained much critical praise and popular acclaim for his idiosyncratic lyrics, bold arrangements and live intensity. Solo he has performed with many renowned artists, including Anna Calvi, Liz Green and Frank Fairfield, as well as performing at Sheffield Cathedral with the University of Sheffield Orchestra. I produced Robert’s stunning and haunting debut EP, Richard Furlong in 2011.
Fall Forwards were born in 2012 from the ashes of Situationists – erst-while Sheffield post-punk indie heroes – and Japanese Sleepers (see below). Mixing guitars with electronics and coming up with something interesting and original isn’t easy, but Fall Forwards manage it. I produced and mixed their first collection of songs early in 2012.
Merging electronic rhythms with organic melodies, Japanese Sleepers subscribe to no fixed genre and no fixed hometown. The quintuplet drives up and down the M1 motorway, taking their fragile aural reflections between Nottingham and Sheffield and beyond. Unfortunately, Japanese Sleepers split up in 2011, but not before i could place some microphones in front of them and record the truly brilliant EP Little Victories. Andy from the band approached me with some demos. I spent some time reprogramming, re-tracking, and mixing to create the EP.
Maldini combine five-part vocal harmonies and lyrics that read like something out of a long-lost Brothers Grimm note book, with trumpets, organs, strings, glockenspiels, guitars, drums, percussion, bass, and piano, to orchestrate the most epic pop hooks and choruses imaginable.
There were two critically acclaimed EPs at either end of 2010 on Oxford’s Alcopop! Records, and a 2011 EP on Lille’s Hip!Hip!Hip!, a debut single – Life In Glorious Stereo – in June 2012, and now Autumn 2012 will see the group release their self-titled début album.
This is my band! I wrote and produced the EPs and co-wrote and co-produced the Album.
in the near future I shall be working again with JIMGHEDI AND NEAL HEPPLESTON and also an incredible choir from Sheffield called ALBION